How Smart City Digital Linking Can Improve Disaster Management

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Jeff Taylor

Southeast Texas Division Manager

Chuck Wolf, a water program manager in the Houston office who also teaches engineering at Texas A&M University, recently co-authored a research paper examining the promise smart cities with digital twin systems (SCDT) have for improving communities’ disaster management.

The article, Smart Cities with Digital Twin Systems for Disaster Management,” was published in the ASCE Journal of Management in Engineering.

The authors say that integrating smart city data-collection technology with digital twin imaging and simulation modeling more thoroughly and effectively for disaster management could save lives, reduce property damage and accelerate economic recovery. The goal is to link infrastructure systems and help community leaders make better decisions in an emergency because they can see the likely impact of different choices in real time.

As an example, in case of a hurricane, a flooding/transportation digital twin could show both available egress routes and alternatives to flooded roadways, with real-time information about traffic speeds on the roads informing the management of evacuation routes.

Here’s more:

“SCDT can improve all four phases of a community disaster experience. In the mitigation phase, SCDT can be used to evaluate alternative policies and plans to reduce loss of life and property and can thereby guide commumity leaders in disaster management investment decisions. In the preparation phase, SCDT can be used to collect and analyze near-real-time data about community and disaster event conditions as the basis for proactive actions such as evacuations. In the response  phase, SCDT can be used to report damage and threats to lives and well-being and thereby improve first responder deployment. In the recovery phase, SCDT can be used  to identify rebuilding bottlenecks and effective and efficient means to build back better and to guide resource allocation strategies.”

Read the full article: Smart Cities with Digital Twin Systems for Disaster Management

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Jeff Taylor is a Freese and Nichols Vice President/Principal and Division Manager for Southeast Texas.